Environmental Chemistry By: Azilyn Gwin and Anahyah. H


Thermodynamics is the study of energy and heat. Heat is the total energy of molecular motion in a substance while temperature is a measure of the average energy of molecular motion in a substance.


  • First Law- matter+energy can't be created or destroyed.
  • Second Law- entropy is always increasing.
  • Third Law- There is no molecular motion at absolute 0 K
  • Zero Law- energy moves from high to low.
  • Exothermic- heat leaving sign(-) hot. Endothermic- heat absorbed sign(+)cold.


A calorie is a unit of thermal energy equal to 4.184 joules or the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of liquid water 1°C at standard pressure.

1Cal= The amount of energy it takes to heat 1g of H2o. 1Dietary cal= 1,000 cal or 1K cal.

Specific heat

Specific heat is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one gram of a substance by 1°C.


  • Up- cycling is making a more valuable product through recycling
  • Down- cycling is making a less valuable product through recycling
  • Closed- loop cycling : You can recycle it and never down- cycle


Plastics are expensive and takes a lot of labor, the most important things to recycle and they must be down- cycled, it also takes forever to breakdown and releases harmful chemicals.


Recycling metals conserves energy, metal recycling also conserves natural resources by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and using less energy than making metal from ore.

Recycled paper produces fewer polluting emissions to air ans water. Recycled paper is not usually re- bleached and where it is, oxygen rather than chlorine is used. This reduces the amount of dioxins which are released into the environment as a by- product of the chlorine bleaching processes.


Mature soil is soil that has developed over a long period of time, arranged in horizontal layers. Infiltration downward movement of water through the soil. Leaching is dissolving of minerals and organic matter in upper layers carrying them to lower layers. *The soil type determines the degree of infiltration and leaching*


Soil profiling is a vertical cross section of layers found in a given area. Examples) changes color in soil, texture, structure, and rock fragments. Soil Horizons are a layer generally parallel to the soil crust, whose physical characteristics differ from the layers above and beneath. Each soil type usually has three or four horizons. Horizons are defined in most cases by obvious physical features, chiefly color and texture.


This is a a simple example of soil layers.
  • The O horizon- "Organic" layer, made up of dead plant, (0+2 ft). Depth of it depends on the amount of plant life.
  • A second layer- "Top soil" mixed w/ organic matter, dark color biological life (2-10 ft) deep.
  • E soil- Not all soil contains e-horizon, No nutrients.
  • B soil- Rich in minerals, that clay holds on to water, some organic particles. Roots extend to this layer for water/minerals.
  • C soil- No organic matter, large chucks of rocks.
  • R soil- Continuous mass of bedrock that is drilled through to get water. *Deepest soil horizon in the soil profile*.


Majority of soil comes from rocks soil texture. Depends on the size of the particles *higher the easier of water soil*. Soil Separates- sand, silt, and clay. Soil particles size determines the amount of space between the particles. The larger the particle size the quicker the water flows through the soil. Sand can be seen by the naked eye. Silt is seen with a microscope or magnify glass. Clay on the other hand cannot be seen, it's atomic structure sticks to your hand. Nearly all soil is a mix of these things.

This diagram shows the soil texture
  • Fine Textured Soil- mainly made from slit + clay. Soil holds on to water. Plant roots cannot access water.
  • Coarse Texture- high amount of sand water flows quickly through.
  • Loamy soil- mix sand, silt and clay.


Atomic Theory is a scientific theory of the nature of matter, which states that matter is composed of discrete units called atoms. It began as a philosophical concept in ancient Greece and entered the scientific mainstream in the early 19th century when discoveries in the field of chemistry showed that matter did indeed behave as if it were made up of atoms.



(400 B.C)
  • First scientist to determine everything through cause and effect.
  • Each thing had it's own unique atom.
  • "If you cut a rock an infinite amount of times, is the smallest piece still a rock?" Yes.


  • Father of Atomic Theory . Had 5 postulates
  • 1. All matter consist of indivisible particles called atoms.
  • 2. Atoms of the same element are identical and different form other elements.
  • 3. Atoms can't be created or destroyed.


  • Invented the plum pudding model
  • Invented the cathod rade


(1898) (Alpha) (Discovered nucleus)
  • In 1911, he discovered the gold foil experiment
  • "An atom contains a density pact positively charged center of atom"
  • When he shot a beam of alpha particles at a sheet of gold foil, a few of the particles were deflected.


(1922) (Explained atomic spectra)
  • Electrons must be quantized when electron drop in energy, they produce light and the is equal to distance of the drop.
  • Light and electrons are bold particle with wave properties



He developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). Einstein's work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. Einstein is best known in popular culture for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2 (which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation").


An ion is an atom or a molecule in which the total number of electrons is not equal to the total number of protons, giving the atom or molecule a net positive or negative electrical charge. Ions can be created, by either chemical or physical means.Ionic bonding is a kind of chemical bonding that arises from the mutual attraction of oppositely charged ions.


an ionic compound is a chemical compound comprising ions held together by electrostatic forces termed ionic bonding. The compound is neutral overall, but consists of positively charged ions called cations and negatively charged ions called anions. Ionic compounds containing hydrogen ions (H+) are classified as acids, and those containing basic ions hydroxide (OH-) or oxide (O2-) are classified as bases.


Water is polar because one is negative and one is positive. Water is very important because it helps regulate the climate*shapes earths surface*. All living things need water. About 97% of water on earth is salt, 3% fresh water, 87% is frozen water, and 95% liquid fresh water is groundwater. Fresh water is distributed unevenly 2025 1/3 human population will live in areas locking water.

Major water water pollutants
  • Surface water- water on the surface, streams,rivers,lakes,ponds and wetlands.
  • Runoff- replenishes surface water.
  • Watershed - area that feeds surface water.
  • Groundwater- majority of where our water is stored.
  • Infiltration- process of water percolating through the soil, into cracks and permeable rocks.


Zone of Aeration top layers of the soil. Zone of Saturation lower levels. Water table is the top zone of saturation. The recharge zone is massive area where water infiltrates into an aquifer. Groundwater is replenished very slow.


  • Water table is not safe to drink , It is very bacterial.
  • Unconfined Aquifer- A aquifer that doesn't have a permeable layer on top of it.
  • (+) Fast recharge; can be contaminated by the surface pollutants.
  • Confined Aquifer- A impermeable layer, (+) no surface contains(-) low recharge rate.


Point source is when the pollution can be traced back to 1 individual site"easily contained". Non point source is when they speared out of a large area & can't be contained. Any physical or chemical change in water that adversity, affects the health of humans & other organisms. Sewage- Any water that goes down a sink or shower that does not contain poop or pee. Black water is from toilets, sewage must be treated until released into the environment.


  • Contains diseases carrying agents.
  • Infectious organisms that cause diseases.
  • Increases BOD, disease causing agents.
  • Monitored by testing for presence of E.Coli in the water via a (Feral coli form test). We can test for each individual bacteria or viruses.

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